mercredi 26 décembre 2012

Robot Master

Wired News (08/06/12) Christina Bonnington

Carnegie Mellon University professor Manuela Veloso has spent her career developing autonomous collaborative robots (CoBots).  The CoBots run a combination of C++, Python, and Java, and consist of a camera and laptop on a wheeled base, while a Microsoft Kinect is used for navigation and obstacle avoidance.  Users assign tasks to the CoBot via a Web interface, and once the task is completed, the CoBot can either return to its home base or move on to the next assigned task.  Veloso eventually wants to develop CoBots that can perform daily human tasks alongside their human masters.  "I decided that ... these robots ... need a symbiotic relationship with humans, and they need to proactively ask for help when they need help," Veloso says.  Her research is focused on symbiotic autonomy, in which robots move through the world by themselves, but if they come across uncertainties about their location, or if what they are doing surpasses the threshold of their capabilities, they stop and ask humans for help.  "The reason why I came up with symbiotic autonomy was exactly because I started looking at these robots performing tasks and services for humans as part of a team," Veloso says.